I Love Waterfalls!

murhut falls

It rains a lot where I live (we call it liquid sunshine). In the western half of Washington state it is always green and I am lucky to live close to what has become my favorite National Park. Olympic National Park is very unique having diverse ecosystems from marine to rain forest to high mountain alpine. Located on the Pacific coast of Washington state, it probably receives more rain than any other park in the country and all of that rain creates thousands of waterfalls, one of my favorite photographic subjects.
Getting to some of the waterfalls is as simple as driving to them. Some require a short walk and some are deeper into the park requiring several hours of hiking. Olympic National Park is heavily forested and many of the rivers and streams have hundreds of trees that have fallen across them creating small waterfalls that change from year to year. Other falls are more permanent dropping over cliffs and over steep gorges.
On the technical side, most of these images were taken at shutter speeds between .25 second to 2 seconds. The image above used an unusually long speed at 1 second because the location was quite dark (and rainy, go figure...) and I needed to keep the f-stop higher (f7.1 in this case) for decent depth of field. Generally the bigger the waterfall the faster the shutter speed since a big waterfall just turns into a white blur at anything over .5 seconds. Case in point, here is an image of Rocky Brook Falls taken only one week before the image in the Waterfall gallery (#4). The amount of water coming over the falls was staggering to point that it was difficult to get any definition in the water (and keep water spray off the lens).
I will base exposure on the white part of the falls so it is not overexposed (which is very difficult to fix in post processing). In post processing, reducing the highlights of the water will bring out the textures giving the falls better definition. The Canyon Creek image below (#8) is a good example of this technique.
The images below are a small sampling of waterfalls located in and around Olympic National Park. Enjoy!
Waterfalls Gallery - click any image to view